Review of the iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robotic Vacuum

Amazon and iRobot partnered to bring the Roomba i6+ (6550) to the market. As this model is sold exclusively on the Amazon marketplace, there’s less information circulating. So this review is a conclusive rundown on how this model stacks up compared to other Roomba models.

iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robotic Vacuum
iRobot Roomba i6+

For those of you who want a straight forward answer, the closest comparison is the Roomba i7+ or Costco’s exclusive i8+. While it definitely gives the other models a run for their money, the i6+ falls short in a few ways. As a reminder, the Roomba i6+ is a parter-product available only on Amazon.com. Now, for the details.


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Roomba i6+ Features

As a base, the Roomba i6 and i7 are almost identical robovacs. So here are the key differences between them. The Roomba i6 weighs 7.44 lbs, and the dimensions are: 13.34 inches with by 3.63 inches in height. So the first key difference is that the i6+ is a little heavier than the i7+ (0.16 lbs for you sticklers out there.) But even for a multi-floored house, the weight difference shouldn’t prove a significant issue.

Style and Colors

The colors are another separation. The i6+ comes in grey, and the i7+ comes in black. Some people prefer the i7’s sleek bleak design. But I’d say that’s a matter of preference.

Roomba i6+
iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550)

Battery Life

Both models use a lithium-ion battery, which, on average, allow for seventy-five minutes of cleaning per session. The i6+ has the same recharge features as the i7+. So they both self-manage battery life by returning to the docking station to recharge. Immediately after recharging, the i6+ resumes its cleaning duties in the same part of the house where the battery went low. I personally found not having to manually recharge the vacuum very convenient, especially considering that it remembers where it left off. Even though most other models offer this feature, the i6+ has one advantage: it empties itself while recharging, saving you from another chore.

I highly recommend getting Roomba models that have a Plus+ in the model number—i3+, i6+, i7+, i8+, and s9+—as all of these models automatically empty their dust trays. I’ll include a little more on this topic a little later.

Cleaning Tech and Suction Strength

iRobot’s Roomba i6+ offers a premium 3-stage cleaning system for optimization and efficiency. As a direct compassion to Roomba’s 600 models, the i6+ boasts ten times the suction strength. Which means deeper cleans into the groves of your tiles and carpets. The extra strength makes pesky strands of hair a distant memory. But as a side note for pet owners, you will want to keep an eye on build-ups of hair in the wheel wells—not cleaning the wheels can not only lead to a stuck Roomba, but it could even break or overheat—so keep a firm watch on this if you have pets that like to shed. But this issue affects all vacuums, not just the Roomba i6+.

Another key feature is that the i6+ offers patented Dirt Detect Tech, which locates your home’s dirtiest areas and prioritizes those first. The sensors ensure that it passes the areas enough time to clean your home’s high traffic areas thoroughly.

Dual Rollers and Sweeping Edge Brushes

Equipped with multi-surface rubber brushes, the Roomba i6+ is better suited for dirty areas than the bristle brushes found in Roomba’s other 600 models. The patented rubber brushes cause less hair entanglement issues, which will save you time from having to pull the hair out yourself. And at the end of the day, that’s what we want from these robovacs—more time that we don’t spend having to clean.

iRobot Roomba i6+ Robot Vacuum
Roomba i6+

As every home has different floor surfaces, the auto-adjusting rollers on the i6+ offer extreme convenience. The brush rollers adjust automatically, raising to clean higher carpets on rugs and then re-lowering for flat floors. But for those with really thick rugs and carpets, even the 10x suction of the i6+ may fall short. If you’re willing to spend a little more, I recommend the Roomba s9 or s9+ as those both offer 40x the suction strength for deep carpet cleans.

To get into those tight creases and corners, the i6+ uses its Edge-Sweeping Brush. Though the i6+ is circular, so it has some trouble getting all the way into corners. You may need to grab your broom for a final sweep. If that deters you, then the ergonomic D shape of the Roomba s9+ offers more thorough corner cleans. Another side note comparing the i6+ to the i7+ is that the i7+ comes with one replacement brush, whereas the i6+ doesn’t.

Filters

The Roomba i6+ comes with the same high-efficiency filters as the i7+, which are known to trap 99% of dust, dirt, and allergens. The i6+ doesn’t come with any extra filters, and the i7+ comes with one extra. So, another small win for the i7+ there. I would suggest changing the filter out every two to three months.

Self Emptying Features

This is the great stuff about Roomba’s Plus+ models. Finally, we have a vacuum that empties itself. Which not only keeps your hands clean but saves you even more time.

iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robot Vacuum
Roomba i6+

The Roomba i6+ knows when its dust tray is full and then automatically docks and empties itself. As I touched lightly on earlier, it then goes back to the place where it left off. These little critters know our homes better than we do. The Clean Base stores 60 day’s worth of clutter and even notifies you when the Clean Base bags need to be replaced. The mobile app will send a notification, and the Clean Base LED indicator will flash red when it’s time for a new bag.

How long each bag lasts will depend on your home. Pets and kids tend to fill bags faster, but you could easily go weeks without having to worry about it. In addition to self-emptying, the i6+ also knows when its battery gets low, returning to self-charge and empty simultaneously, which leaves more time for you to spend as you wish.

Navigation and House Maps

The i6+ uses iAdapt 3.0 Smart Nav and Imprint Smart Maps, which is how the Roomba i6+ knows which areas of the house it has already cleaned. It uses cameras to map out your home’s floor plan on each floor and then decides the most efficient cleaning routes, which tend to be clean straight lines.

Some of the cheaper and mid-range models don’t use this technology and clean at random. Once they run into an object, they dart off in a new direction. The Roomba series 3 and 600 models(not Plus+) use random cleaning patterns. Not that many people have ten-floor houses, but the i6+ is capable of storing ten floor plans. Even though the i6+ is capable of much, climbing up and down stairs is not one of its many talents. (for now). You can name the different areas of your house and use voice activation assistants like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa to have your i6+ target clean target areas of your home, such as a flour spill in the kitchen.

The Roomba i6+ stores the maps in the iRobot Home app, which allows you to easily and remotely set cleaning areas. You can also set up areas that you don’t want the i6+ to clean, known as Keep Out Zones. These areas will create invisible walls that your robovac won’t cross.

The i6+ doesn’t offer Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, but the Keep Out Zones create a virtual wall in a semi-circle that prevents the robot from venturing into unwanted territory. I use this to keep my robovac from entering the often soggy area near my dog’s water bowl.

Another awesome feature is Imprint Smart Mapping and Link Technology. This allows the i6+ to sync up with Braava jet m6 mops. Your Roomba virtually informs the m6 what areas have been vacuumed so that it can come behind and mop. You’ll need to check compatibility with other iRobot Braava mops, but most should be able to synchronize.

iRobot Genius’s iRobot Home App

This easy to use app powered by iRobot Genius offers a game-changing experience focused on efficiency and personalization. The Home App will offer you unique cleaning solutions that fit your schedule, based on previous times you’ve set your iRobot to clean in the past. The app is also capable of using local GPS data for further optimization. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, the Home App may suggest that the pollen count near your home is higher than usual and suggests more cleaning sessions. It can offer similar suggestions for pet shedding season.

iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550)
iRobot Roomba i6+

The i6+ comes fully optimized and ready to connect to your Wi-Fi network. So you can plug and play your Roomba right into the rest of your smart home. Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT can be used to create synchronized cleaning routines.

We’ll wrap with a final list of pros and cons for the iRoomba 6+

The Pros

For starters, this vacuum cleans really well. We tested its ability to pick up dirt between furniture legs and under shelves. We tried it out on many different types of carpets. In all of our tests, the new i6+ rocked and rolled and left a clean floor in its wake. The Roomba i6+ picked up an average of 10.45 grams of dirt per run, the same sort of performance that we saw when testing the Roomba i7+. This means that the i6+ can hold its own when put up against other Roombas or even conventional, full-sized vacuums over the course of a cleaning week.

Also, the i6+ is self-emptying. In fact, any of the “+” models of iRobot vacuums come with a base that acts as both a charging station and a way for the vacuum to empty its own dust bin after it has finished its cleaning.

This base connects to the i6+ and suctions out the contents of the robot vacuum’s dust bin. Then, it places the contents in a self-sealing bag that can easily be thrown away. Plus, once the bag is sealed, then any crumbs that the vacuum picked up will not attract any mice or bugs to their smell. The bags in the base hold about 3.8 liters of debris, which means that you only have to throw them out about once a month. Plus, you won’t have to see or smell any of the trash at all.

And, finally, there’s an app for that. The new iRobot Roomba i6+ can connect to iRobot’s Home Genius Intelligence app. From here you can instruct your Roomba to vacuum certain rooms or set up a cleaning schedule. You can even set up cleaning tasks based on events. For example, you can have your Roomba i6+ clean up your bedroom every time you leave the house for work, or have it clean the kitchen and dining room after dinner each night.

The Cons

After all of the dust has settled (or, rather, been sucked up), the i6+ and the i7+ performed just as well as each other. The main difference, in terms of value, is that the i7+ comes with more accessories and spares/replacement parts. The i7+ comes with two bags, one extra side brush, and an extra filter, while the i6+ only comes with the charging base and a disposable bag.

iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robotic Vacuum Review
iRobot Roomba i6+

Conclusion

We found Roomba’s i6+ to another wonderful addition to the robovac family, which we found to have better value for the price. Minus the fact that the i7+ comes with a few extra backups that you’ll need to buy separately for the i6+. As they’re both similarly priced, we would suggest whichever is on sale. And if they happen to be the same price, keep in mind that the i7+ will save you a few bucks on your first round of brushes, filters, and disposable bags.

iRobot Roomba i6+ (6550) Robot Vacuum with...
  • UPGRADE TO A SMARTER CLEAN - The i6+ introduces an exclusive upgrade to Imprint Smart Mapping, giving you the...
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  • POWERFUL PERFORMANCE & POWERFUL PICK-UP - Pulls in stubborn dirt & messes with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning...

Frequently Asked questions

Should I get the iRobot Roomba i6+ or the i7+?

The two models are very similar, offering the same base robot vacuum and the same Clean Base dock station. The major differences would be color, availability of purchase, and the i7+ comes with a few bonus accessories. But as far as cleaning goes, the result is identical. If the prices are similar, I would suggest the i7+ purely for the value that the extra accessories offer. Sometimes Amazon runs different specials, so I would keep an eye out to see if either model is on sale.

iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550)

What about the iRobot Roomba i6+ versus the i3+ model?

As the i3+ doesn’t come with smart mapping, I would strongly suggest getting the i6+ model—for large homes, especially. If you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment and don’t need smart mapping, the i3+ is a cheaper option. But you’ll have to do a lot more manual cleaning than you would if you went with the i6+.

iRobot Roomba i6+ versus i8+?

Both of these models are Roomba exclusives, i6+ being Amazon’s and the i8+ being Costco’s. The i8+ offers longer battery life by twenty-percent, which equates to about fifteen minutes, but as both models offer Recharge and Resume, the extra life doesn’t add up to a large advantage. I found the i6+ to the better bang for your buck, especially considering that it doesn’t require a Costco membership.

iRobot Roomba i6+ versus s9+?

The shape and suction power differ wildly between these two vacs, as does the cost. The Roomba i6+ comes as a circle, whereas the s9+ is shaped like a D. Both models offer advantages, but the s9+ is better suited for getting into corners. The s9+ also offers the highest suction power of any of the Roomba models at 40x suction, which is four times higher than the i6+. If you have thick carpets or multiple pets, the s9+ may be a better option for you. But as far as cost versus value, I would suggest the i6+ as I believe it’s a better model for the money.

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Last update on 2021-03-03 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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